Day 1: An “A to Z” Guide of Apps & Web 2.0 Tools

So it’s 2014 and I have several resolutions. One is to start blogging more often. I read Richard Byrne’s “Making Time to Blog” post last night and thought, “it’s time.”  So, in attempt to follow-through with at least one resolution, I plan to share my successes (and challenges) in the classroom, through showcasing a list of educational technology tools “A to Z style.” This is the first of 26 posts which I hope to publish ideally on a daily basis. Wow. That’s a lofty goal. We’ll see how it goes! I hope you will find this series of blog posts helpful and will give some of the tools I suggest a try.

Today’s Tool: Animoto Screen Shot 2014-01-06 at 8.37.30 PM

Animoto was one of the very first video creation apps/web tools that I started using in the classroom and I continue to love it. First and foremost it is free and it is available for the iPhone, iPad, and on the web. I have created Animotos on all three devices. My preference has been creating Animotos on the web because I can control the speed of the video. However, I’ve been able to create some pretty slick Animotos from my iPad and my iPhone. Secondly, educators can apply for a free Animoto Plus account for classroom use, which gives you extended features. Although I tend to be a fan of all things free when it comes to educational technology, the Animoto paid plans for both personal and educational use are some of the most reasonable I have seen. I love Animoto because it’s super easy to use and the end product looks great. Students can easily upload images and/or videos from their camera roll and if they use the web version, they can upload pictures from Facebook, Instagram, or Flickr; a great way to integrate the use of social media!

Classroom Applications of Animoto

Animoto can be used in the classroom in a variety of creative ways. As a former marketing and business management teacher, I think it would be a great tool for students to use to create short videos explaining a company’s marketing mix (product, price, place, and promotion) or provide an overview of a company’s social media marketing strategy. In accounting, finance, or economics classes, students could create Animotos explaining GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles), use it to review the accounting equation and T accounts, or create videos showcasing the latest major economic indicators. Today in my Digital Literacy/Web 2.0 course, students created 2013 Year in Review Animotos highlighting their best moments in school, sports, and special times spent with family and friends. Creating Animotos was a fun first day back from break activity for my students. Check out the Animotos created by John and Peter. As a teacher, you could create an Animoto promoting the work of your students and share it with parents on your blog or website. If you advise a club or organization, it’s a great tool to use for recruitment or to celebrate the achievements of the students involved in your group. Animotos can also be uploaded to YouTube and shared via Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more.

If your goal is to use more technology in 2014, but more importantly you want to challenge your students to think creatively, then I would highly recommend Animoto. It’s a quick and easy tool that can be integrated in many content areas and is suitable for grades k-12. It can also be used to promote your involvement in professional development activities and the areas of education which you are most passionate about. For example, I used Animoto to highlight the 2014 Digital Citizenship Twitter chats which begin this coming Wednesday, and I also created a welcome video introducing this year’s New England 1:1 Summit being held in Burlington on April 11 & 12. If you don’t have time for a full-blow iMovie or Final Cut Pro video project, consider Animoto as an alternative if your goal is to promote an upcoming event in your classroom, school or district.

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post and thanks for reading!

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